Students are being introduced to Genetic experiment at Novartis
Who am I? Discovering my genotype. The IB Year 2 biology courses took a trip to Novartis, an internationally leading biological-medical company located in Basel. The groups went on two separate days, Wednesday and Friday. Since the busses each had a few free spaces, some of the German ABI year 2 students were able to join the trip.

Making it not just a scientific but also bonding experience for both systems. Our trip to Novartis was all about professionally analyzing our genotype using several different scientific processes. Our goal was to identify whether an individual has the gene coding for a bitter taste preceptor or not.

We started off, by extracting cells from our cheeks using an isotonic solution. These were then processed with the help of restriction enzymes, which specifically cut out the DNA parts, which we required in order to be able to continue discovering the specific gene coding for bitter tasting. After extracting this gene, a PCR had to be conducted. So that the amount of DNA was sufficient for us to analyse it in a process called Gel – electrophoresis.

The final results of the genotype were partly different from the phenotype we had discovered in the group. Leading us to assume errors in the procedure or the fact that several other factors have an effect on our taste perception.

Nyasha Jenning, Eileen Habermeyer, Esther Evers